“Riparian" means the owner, lessee or occupant of land that abuts a navigable body of water.
Members of the public may use any exposed shore area of a stream without the permission of the riparian only if it is necessary to exit the body of water to bypass an obstruction.
(3) Restrictions; members of public. 30.134(3)(a)(a)
In using an exposed shore area of a stream, as authorized under sub. (2)
, a member of the public may not enter the exposed shore area except from the water, from a point of public access on the stream, or with the permission of the riparian.
Use of an exposed shore area of a stream by members of the public does not grant an easement or other right to the exposed shore area that is greater than the right granted to the public under this section.
(4) Restrictions; riparians; others. 30.134(4)(a)(a)
No riparian may prohibit a member of the public from using, as authorized under this section, an exposed shore area of a stream.
No riparian may charge a fee for the use, as authorized under this section, of an exposed shore area of a stream.
No person may obstruct a highway with the intention to impede or prohibit access by the public to an exposed shore area of a stream.
The right granted to the public under this section to use an exposed shore area of a stream does not apply to any of the following:
An exposed shore area of an impoundment on a stream.
Any location on a stream where there is no surface water flowing in the stream.
History: 1999 a. 9
; 2001 a. 16
Regulation of water ski platforms and jumps. 30.135(1)(1)
A riparian owner placing a water ski platform or water ski jump in a navigable waterway is exempt from the permit requirements under this chapter if all of the following requirements are met:
The platform or jump does not interfere with public rights in navigable waters.
The platform or jump does not interfere with rights of other riparian owners.
The platform or jump is located at a site that ensures adequate water depth and clearance for safe water skiing.
If the department determines that any of the requirements under sub. (1)
are not met, the riparian owner shall submit an application for an individual permit to the department. The notice and hearing provisions under s. 30.208 (3)
apply to the application.
History: 1997 a. 27
; 2003 a. 118
Reports of and hearings on violations. 30.14(1)(1)
Municipalities to report violations.
The governing body of each municipality shall promptly report to the department every violation of s. 30.12
which occurs or which it has reason to believe is likely to occur within the municipal boundaries.
(2) Hearings by department.
Upon complaint by any person to the department that any wharf, pier or other structure exists in navigable water in violation of s. 30.12
or that any wharf, pier or other structure proposed to be built in navigable water will violate s. 30.12
, the department shall investigate and may hold a hearing to determine whether the wharf, pier, or other structure is or would be in violation of those sections. If no hearing is held, the complainant shall be informed of the results of the investigation.
History: 1987 a. 374
; 1997 a. 174
Penalty for unlawful obstruction of navigable waters. 30.15(1)(1)
Any person who does any of the following shall forfeit not less than $10 nor more than $500 for each offense:
Unlawfully obstructs any navigable waters and thereby impairs the free navigation thereof.
Unlawfully places in navigable waters or in any tributary thereof any substance that may float into and obstruct any such waters or impede their free navigation.
Constructs or maintains in navigable waters, or aids in the construction or maintenance therein, of any boom not authorized by law.
Constructs or places any structure or deposits any material in navigable waters in violation of s. 30.12
(3) Each day a separate violation.
Each day during which an obstruction, deposit or structure exists in violation of sub. (1)
is a separate offense.
History: 1987 a. 374
Municipalities have the power to construct bridges but are not authorized to construct or maintain bridges that constitute an unnecessary obstruction or hazard to the free use of navigable waters. The bridge undoubtedly is an obstruction. The question becomes, is the obstruction unnecessary or unreasonable under the circumstances. When a bridge was necessary, reasonable, and existing before the plaintiff moved into the area, the defendant city was not required to abate the obstruction. Capt. Soma Boat Line v. Wisconsin Dells, 79 Wis. 2d 10
, 255 N.W.2d 441
If an unattended and anchored boat is left on navigable water for an unreasonable length of time, it constitutes a violation. 63 Atty. Gen. 601.
Removal of obstructions to navigation. 30.16(1)(a)(a)
The governing body of any municipality in this state may cause to be removed to a convenient and safe place any watercraft or float obstructing or interfering with the free navigation of any river, canal, water channel or slip within its harbor after having given reasonable notice to the master or owner or the agent of the master or owner, if known and a resident of this state, or to the person in charge thereof, to so remove such watercraft or float. The governing body of the municipality by ordinance or resolution may authorize any harbor master or other public officer over whom it has jurisdiction to remove the obstruction, and may prescribe the officer's duties with respect thereto and the mode of carrying them into effect and may prescribe penalties for violation of such ordinance or resolution.
Costs of removal.
All costs, charges and expenses of such removal are a first lien on such watercraft or float, which lien may be enforced in the manner provided by law. The owner of any such watercraft or float is also personally liable for such costs, charges and expenses, to be recovered by the municipality by a personal action.
(2) Removal of obstructions to navigation; wharves and piers; alternative.
As an alternative to the procedure specified under sub. (1)
, the governing body of a city, village or town may remove that portion of a wharf or pier which constitutes an unlawful obstruction to navigation as provided under s. 30.13 (5m)
Withdrawal of water from lakes and streams. 30.18(2)(a)(a)
No person may withdraw water from a stream in this state without an individual permit under this section if the withdrawal meets either of the following conditions:
The withdrawal is for the purpose of maintaining or restoring the normal level of a navigable lake or the normal flow of a navigable stream, regardless of whether the navigable lake or navigable stream is located within the watershed of the stream from which the water is withdrawn.
The withdrawal is for the purpose of agriculture or irrigation.
Streams or lakes.
No person, except a person required to obtain an approval under s. 281.41
, may withdraw water from any lake or stream in this state without an individual permit under this section if the withdrawal will result in a water loss averaging 2,000,000 gallons per day in any 30-day period above the person's authorized base level of water loss.
Except as provided in par. (b)
, an applicant for a permit required under sub. (2) (a)
shall file the application with the department setting forth the name and post-office address of the applicant, the name of the stream from which the water will be withdrawn, the point in the stream from which it is proposed to withdraw the water, the name of the lake or stream or the location and riparian status of the land to which the water is to be transferred, the location and description of the canal, tunnel or pipes and other works through which the water is to be withdrawn and transferred, the amount of water to be withdrawn, the periods of time when it is proposed to withdraw such water, the time required for the completion of the canal and other structures necessary for the completed project and, if required by the department, 4 copies of plans showing cross sections and profiles for any canal, tunnel, pipes or other works for withdrawing and transferring the water and any dam and control works at the point of withdrawal and at the point of discharge.
For a withdrawal under sub. (2) (a) 1.
, a map or maps shall accompany the application with a scale of not less than one inch per 2,000 feet, showing the land topography and the probable course of the proposed canal and other works, and the ownership of all lands upon which will be located the canal, tunnel, pipes and all other works for the completed project.
For a withdrawal under sub. (2) (a) 2.
, the application shall include written statements of consent to the withdrawal from all riparian owners who are making beneficial use of the water proposed to be withdrawn.
The department may require such additional information as may be pertinent.
Application; streams or lakes.
An application for a permit required under sub. (2) (b)
shall be submitted in the form required under s. 281.35 (5) (a)
. If the withdrawal also meets either condition specified under sub. (2) (a)
, the application shall also comply with par. (a)
(4) Notice of hearing on application. 30.18(4)(a)(a)
The notice and hearing provisions of s. 30.208 (3)
shall apply to an application under sub. (3)
. In addition to providing notice as required under s. 30.208 (3)
, the department shall mail a copy of the notice to every person upon whose land any part of the canal or any other structure will be located, to the clerk of the next town downstream, to the clerk of any village or city in which the lake or stream is located and which is adjacent to any municipality in which the withdrawal will take place and to each person specified in s. 281.35 (5) (b)
or (6) (f)
, if applicable.
If a hearing on the application for a permit is conducted as a part of a hearing under s. 293.43
, the notice and hearing provisions in that section supersede the notice and hearing provisions of par. (a)
The department shall approve an application for a permit required under sub. (2) (a)
if the department determines both of the following:
That the proposed withdrawal will not injure any public rights in navigable waters.
That the water to be withdrawn is surplus water, or if it is not surplus water, that all riparians who may be adversely affected by the withdrawal have consented to the proposed withdrawal.
Streams or lakes.
The department shall approve an application for a permit required under sub. (2) (b)
if the grounds for approval specified under s. 281.35 (5) (d)
are met and, if the permit is also required under sub. (2) (a)
, if the department makes the determinations specified under par. (a)
(6) Permits; use of water; reporting; review. 30.18(6)(a)(a)
Contents of permit.
The department shall specify on each permit issued under this section the quantity of water that may be withdrawn and the times during which water may be withdrawn. In addition, if the permit is one which is required under sub. (2) (b)
, the permit shall comply with s. 281.35 (6)
Use of water.
A person issued a permit under this section for the purpose of irrigation or agriculture may use the water on any land contiguous to the permittee's riparian land, but may not withdraw more water than it did before August 1, 1957, without applying to the department for a modification of the permit.
The department shall require each permittee under this section to report its volume and rate of withdrawal and its volume and rate of water loss, if any, in the form and at the times specified by the department.
Review of permits.
If the permit is one that is required under sub. (2) (a)
, but not under sub. (2) (b)
, and the permit was issued on or after August 1, 1957, the department shall review the permit at least once every 5 years. If the permit is one that is required under sub. (2) (b)
, the department shall review the permit as required under s. 281.35 (6) (b)
The department shall revoke a permit issued under sub. (5) (a)
, which is not subject to sub. (2) (b)
, if it finds any of the following:
That the water being withdrawn is no longer surplus water, except that the department may allow the withdrawal to continue if all riparians adversely affected by the withdrawal continue to consent to it.
If the withdrawal is from a stream designated by the department as a trout stream, that the revocation is desirable for conservation purposes.
The department may revoke any permit issued under sub. (5) (a)
, which is not subject to sub. (2) (b)
, if it finds that the withdrawal is detrimental to the stream from which the water is withdrawn.
(7) Prerequisites to project construction.
After an application under this section has been filed with the department, the applicant may enter any land through which it is proposed to withdraw or transfer the water for the purposes of making any surveys required for drafting the plans for the project, but no work shall be commenced on the canal, headworks or other structures necessary for the project until the plans for the same have been approved by the department. Any person having received a permit required under sub. (2) (a)
may construct upon the land of another the canal and other works authorized by the permit after the damage which will be sustained by the owner or owners of such land has been satisfied, or has been determined as provided for in ch. 32
, and after the final sum so determined and all costs have been paid to the persons entitled thereto or to the clerk of the circuit court on their account.
(8) Department may raise water elevations.
If after examination and investigation the department determines that it is necessary to raise water elevations in any navigable stream or lake for conservation purposes, the department may, if funds are available from any source other than license fees, determine and establish the elevations to which the water may be raised or maintained, but the water elevation may not be established below the normal elevation. If any lands are damaged by raising the water levels above normal and the department cannot acquire the right to flow the lands by agreement with the owner, the department may acquire the lands or the right to flow the lands by condemnation under ch. 32
(9) Judicial review.
Any order or determination made by the department is subject to judicial review as prescribed in ch. 227
See also chs. NR 142
, Wis. adm. code.
This section is to be strictly construed. Any diversion of water lawful at common law is permitted without a permit unless it is for irrigation, agriculture, or to maintain normal water levels. State ex rel. Chain O'Lakes Protective Association v. Moses, 53 Wis. 2d 579
, 193 N.W.2d 708
This section applies to diversions from nonnavigable, as well as from navigable, streams. Omernik v. State, 64 Wis. 2d 6
, 218 N.W.2d 734
The legislature abrogated the common law riparian right of irrigation and substituted the permit procedure under sub. (3). Omernick v. Department of Natural Resources, 71 Wis. 2d 370
, 238 N.W.2d 114
Section 94.26 exempts cranberry growers from permit requirements of this section. State v. Zawistowski, 95 Wis. 2d 250
, 290 N.W.2d 303
Enlargement and protection of waterways. 30.19(1b)(a)
“Artificial water body" means a body of water that does not have a history of being a lake or stream or of being part of a lake or stream.
Land area that is, in size, the greater of the following:
The portion of land surface that extends 75 feet landward from the ordinary high-water mark of any navigable waterway.